Aug 312005
 
Authors: Cornelia Kane

Jerry Joseph is a singer-songwriter probably best known for penning several songs that have been covered so many times, by ultra-popular Southern rock/jam band Widespread Panic, that most fans think the band actually wrote them.

Fans in the know, however, realize that a few tunes featured in heavy rotation during Panic's live shows are not actually originals, but covers. Songs such as "Blight", "North", "Climb to Safety" and "Chainsaw City" are Joseph songs that the band has revamped and adopted as their own. The originals can be found on Joseph's solo albums, or albums released with his various bands.

The Widespread Panic connection does not seem surprising if you ask their bass player Dave Schools.

"Our history goes back to when Little Women, his former band, dragged a greenhorn Widespread Panic across the Rockies and out to the West Coast. He basically started us out there," said the genial musician in a recent interview.

The musical relationship between Schools and Joseph has blossomed over the years. When Widespread Panic first announced the end of a year and a half hiatus that they recently came off of, the hard-working duo got together to form a new band called Stockholm Syndrome, with musicians they personally hand-picked. The name refers to the condition that occurs when hostages begin empathizing with their kidnappers.

Some of the other musicians in the band included Eric McFadden, guitarist for the P-Funk Allstars and the Eric McFadden Trio, and Wally Ingram, drummer for the duo, David Linley and Wally Ingram. Stockholm Syndrome managed to release one album, "Holy Happy Hour", and complete a whirlwind tour during the time Panic was on hiatus, but the project has again been placed on the back burner, as Schools' skills are needed elsewhere.

Joseph and his band, the Jackmormons, are currently based in Portland, Ore., and one could say his songs reflect the dreary climate he chose to live in. His lyrics usually deal with heavy subjects such as sex, sin, addiction, religion and redemption. Live, his stage presence more than makes up for his slight stature. In venues where smoking is allowed, he smokes non-stop and rarely wears shoes onstage. With an intense gaze and raspy, melancholic croon he seems to challenge the audience.

Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons support Panic at the upcoming Jazz Aspen at Snowmass on Sept. 1. The Jackmormons, featuring Junior Ruppel on bass and Brad Rosen on drums, will then play several more mountain towns and Joseph will wind up in Fort Collins for a solo performance.

Joseph performs at the Aggie Theatre, 204 S. College Ave., on Sept. 6. Doors open at 8 p.m. and is an all-ages show.

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